UK firm Attestor Capital offers €9.4m for Bleeding Horse pub in Dublin

London investment firm has invested heavily in Dublin pub scene, but co-owner of Bleeding Horse suggests he wants it to pay higher price

A British investment firm has made an offer, believed to be close to €9.4 million, to buy the landmark Bleeding Horse pub in Dublin city.

Attestor Capital, a London firm that has bought six other well-known Dublin pubs in a little more than a year, recently made the offer to the consortium of local investors that owns the huge pub at the top of Camden Street, adjacent to one of the city’s hottest nightlife districts.

David L’Estrange, co-owner of the Bleeding Horse, confirmed that the London firm has tried to buy the pub but he says he rejected its offer. “Everyone in the business thinks the pub is already gone but it is not sold. I turned the offer down, and that is 100 per cent true and you can print that,” he said on Wednesday evening.

Mr L’Estrange, an accountant and a veteran investor in the Dublin pub scene who also owns nearby venues such as the Camden Exchange, indicated he may be prepared to hold further talks with Attestor, but he suggested he wants a higher price.


“I’m not sure I want to sell the Bleeding Horse. It is an iconic pub and it is getting better and better. We are talking to them [Attestor] and as far as I know, they’ve gone off to regroup,” he said. Mr L’Estrange said that any asset can be sold but a deal always hinges on whether “the price is right”.

When asked if he expected the London firm to come back with a higher offer for the Bleeding Horse, he said he doesn’t know but it is possible. He said financial investors are under pressure not to hold on to cash because of inflation, and that investing cash in properties such as pubs is a “safer bet”.

Mr L’Estrange, who is an investor in about six Dublin pubs including the Tolka House in Glasnevin, said trade in the Bleeding Horse has recovered swiftly following the pandemic. He said it has a “substantial turnover” and claimed it is already “25 or 30 per cent” ahead of where it was in 2019.

Attestor’s London office and its local Irish adviser made no response to emailed requests for comment. The firm’s first purchase in the Irish market last year was the historic Brazen Head pub on the city’s quays, for which it reportedly paid about €15 million.

It also recently bought five pubs from the Smith family of publicans, including the Auld Dubliner and the Norseman in Temple Bar, and TP Smiths on the northside of the city, on Jervis Street.

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is London Correspondent for The Irish Times